UNITAID/IDPF: An Analysis of the International Drug Purchase Facility


Publication Date: November 2006

Publisher: Hudson Institute

Author(s): Jeremiah Norris

Research Area: International relations

Type: Report


At the St. Petersburg G8 meeting in July 2006, the government of France proposed a solidarity tax on airline tickets, of which the proceeds would be used to buy drugs for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria patients in the developing world. The proposal wasn’t adopted by the other G8 members because there was no clear rationale for a new program which is repetitive of current drug procurement schemes. Nonetheless, the governments of France, Chile, Brazil, Norway, and the United Kingdom signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the United Nations on September 19, 2006 and agreed to collaborate in the implementation of the International Drug Purchase Facility (IDPF). The Facility was proposed as an innovative mechanism to accelerate access to highquality drugs and diagnostics for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria patients. WHO has agreed to assist UNITAID by serving as the host organization. It will provide a Secretariat, Trust Fund, administrative, fiduciary support, and facilities. UNICEF will provide procurement services. This analysis will review the three key published documents: 1) UNITAID – The International Drug Purchase Facility, September 1, 2006; UNITAID Constitution, September 6, 2006; and 3) the MoU among the principal parties. The documents use the acronym “UNITAID” for the Facility, though the letters don’t correspond to “IDPF”.